Please forgive the tardiness in replying. A distinction can be made
between a philosophical dialogue and a drama. In a philosophical
dialogue, the arguments are most important; in a drama, the speakers'
voiced thoughts as reflective of his/her character are important. Even
though Plato originally considered the career of playwright, he
abandoned this art for philosophy. He wrote philosophical dialogues in
which famous and less well-known thinkers of his day exchanged arguments
and counterarguments. But the arguments were key, not the named
I've taught philosophy courses on Plato for decades and have tried my
hand at encoding Buddhist philosophical arguments/counterarguments based
on the philosophical school's position which is being presented. I think
that it may be harder to come up with TEI codes for the arguments and
counterarguments, but it would be superficial to mark philosophical
arguments in a way that links them to a "speaker" rather than to a
philosophical school or position. The Tibetan canon, for example, has
hundreds of texts that include sections of philosophical argument and
counterargument as though there are unnamed "speakers" from each
philosophical school engaged in debate. But it just wouldn't work to
encode these texts as "drama."
As Aristotle said, drama is an art about action. Written philosophical
debate isn't action; it's inquiry.
Enjoy the summer,
Dept. of Philosophy, Union College
From: TEI (Text Encoding Initiative) public discussion list
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Lou Burnard
Sent: Wednesday, June 24, 2009 12:04 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Is a Socratic dialogue a drama?
Martin Holmes wrote:
> Hi all,
> We're encoding a text which is a philosophical dialogue. It's not
> intended to be a "proper" drama, with believable characters, and not
> intended to be performed in any way. Should we be using the drama
> module's <sp>, <speaker> etc. to do this, or should we be encoding it
> some other way?
You should be using <sp>, <speaker> etc if the text presents itself as a
dramatic dialogue, irrespective of your belief in the characters or the